I’m planning an article about campaign financing and the ludicrous conflicts of interest that exist when a government that manages public resources and taxation extracts millions of dollars in contributions from corporations whose financial interests are at stake.
I’ve been wading through the Financial Reports and Political Contributions System provided by Elections BC, the supposedly non partisan agency formerly headed by Craig James. Getting useful information from FRPC is problematic because Elections BC made sure the database search engine uses computer search technology that is equivalent to what we used about two decades ago. (Remember Lycos or Altavista?)
By example, enter the name ALLAN MARKIN (former CEO of Canadian Natural Resources Limited, which has donated $100,000) and FRPC reports that he contributed $100,000 to BC Liberals through three numbered companies. However, enter ALLAN PAUL MARKIN and FRPC informs that Markin gave another $160,000 to BC Liberals.
The primitive search capability at the Elections BC site means that entering JOHN A. SMITH, for example, would not report results for JOHN A SMITH, the name without punctuation. Twice, I’ve complained to EBC and their response is:
“Your suggestion has been noted, and will be assessed as an enhancement for a future release of our Financial Reports and Political Contributions system.”
That they continue to offer a database devoid of modern search capabilities, suggests they made a choice to keep it that way even though the cost of an upgrade would be minimal. The reason to not improve search capability must be strictly political.
Here are a few Tweets that I sent out during my research: